Thursday, January 26, 2017

Who Rules by Fear, Fears Truth

Already one thing is perfectly clear: their greatest fear, these bullies and blusterers, is truth.

Truth is their Kryptonite.

Confront them with truth and they hide behind “alternative facts.”

What prompts instant and paranoid late-night tweets? Truth.  Facts about crowd size.  The actual, audited numbers of the popular vote.  

Science scares them silly.  They silence, intimidate and shutter the Environmenal Protection Agency because it employs scientists.

Consider this:  no scientist in the EPA may divulge a shred of his or her research without having it vetted by the administration.  People like Scott Pruitt, who detests scientists and sued the EPA when he was attorney general of Oklahoma.  People like Rex Tillerson, the $180 million man whose Exxon scientists discovered anthropogenic climate change decades ago and were told to keep it secret; whose Exxon funded the anti-science lies of the Idsos and Heartland Institute. Would you have atheists vet the Bible?

EPA employees have said privately that they are “terrified.”  Of course they are.  That’s exactly how despots rule — by terror.  They want everyone to fear them, even as they fear the truth.

And make no mistake, America: they are ruling, not governing.  Governing is what happened when this was still a democratic republic.  What is happening now is ruling, a.k.a. despotism.

Of course they had to declare a “war on the media.”  Some in the media have dared to tell us the truth.  When the despot tweeted (again) that illegal immigrants had swollen the popular vote count that went against him, newspeople told us there are no facts to support that assertion.  Then he tweeted that he would order an investigation into voter fraud, including people who registered in two or more states. And the media revfealed that his closest advisor, Steve Bannon, and his own daughter, among other high-ranking administration people, are in fact registered to vote in two states.  Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

Tyranny trembles before the truth.  They must stifle it; round up those who speak it and terrorize them into silence, or jail them, or, ultimately, even torture and kill them.  Among us, the enslaved, silence would be survival; truth would be our own damnation.

Unless all of us know the truth, and perpetuate it, shout it from the hilltops, fill our journals with it and our airwaves and the Intern . . .

Already they have put in place a hired gun to kill internet neutrality.  Voices — even remote, feeble ones like this Pianist — will be silenced. They must be silenced because if people know the truth, the truth will make them free.

Are we like the sons of Abraham, insisting we don’t need to be set free because we have never been slaves?  Insisting this even as new shackles are fastened around us?

Or will our scientists somehow find ways to put their truth before the public?  Will journalists still seek and speak the truth?  Will we the people know these truths and repeat them and act upon them and do as free people must, overthrow the despot?

It’s up to us.  Can we do this?  Only if we start now, before it is too late.

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